Car burglars strike more than a dozen times in New Orleans’ Lake Vista neighborhood

Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 5:47 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - People who live in the Lake Vista neighborhood say they’re tired of being victims of car break-ins.

“Well, this is the fifth time my car got broken into. I think it happened last night,” says Grace Cieutat.

“It’s getting out of hand. It’s just too much. It’s too unsafe for us and our kids,” says a neighbor.

Since Friday night (July 8), people who live in the neighborhood say they became victims of car break-ins twice.

“They’re pulling on door handles and then broke several of our windows. Many items were stolen,” says a victim.

Some victims paid to have their windows replaced, only to have them busted out again the next night. Police say just over the weekend, four vehicles were hit on Wren Street, three on Thrasher Street and nine vehicles burglaries were reported on Hawk Street. A picture of the suspects from surveillance video clearly shows one of them with a gun in his hand.

“People are getting up for work around 5 a.m. They could easily startle one of these individuals, and it could easily become deadly. That’s scary,” says a victim.

Two suspects were captured on video involved in a series of vehicle burglaries in the Lake...
Two suspects were captured on video involved in a series of vehicle burglaries in the Lake Vista neighborhood, including one clearly brandishing a gun.(WVUE-Fox 8)

The NOPD says it’s searching for two suspects, believed to be driving a Ford Expedition with a temporary tag.

“It’s overwhelming, because it’s like we want to see something happen in our city with more protection. It’s just very alarming,” says Jonathan Cupid.

People who live in the neighborhood say what happened over the weekend is part of a pattern that’s constantly repeating.

“It used to be here and there. But now you’re getting five or six in a block in less than seven days. It’s every other day,” says a victim.

“I think it’s just disappointing. We pay property taxes every year. They add that for the protection for the Levee District Police to patrol this area. I sit out on my patio a lot. I rarely see anyone patrolling or riding up and down,” says Lori Cupid.

The Orleans Levee District Police issued a statement that said: “No changes have been made in the Orleans Levee District Police Department’s routine patrol areas or patrol priorities that would have resulted in either a fewer or greater number of on-duty officers patrolling the Lake Vista neighborhood until after the break-ins were reported this past weekend.

“Lake Vista has an arrangement for off-duty police detail patrol. But coverage is staffed on a volunteer basis only and, as such, can vary from time to time, depending on whether officers sign up to work the detail when they are not on duty. Though on-duty OLDPD officers are tasked with patrol of Lakeshore Drive, the Lakefront public spaces and the Flood Protection Authority property and flood control assets, which includes more than 100 miles of flood protection infrastructure in Orleans Parish, we do back up the NOPD on calls to the surrounding neighborhoods.”

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